The Mouth-Body Connection – There Is A Link
The Mouth-Body Connection is real.
Everyone knows that proper brushing and flossing keep your teeth and gums healthy. But did you know that good oral hygiene can keep your body healthy?
For over a century, dentists and physicians have discussed and tested the link between oral health and systemic health. Modern research has made it clear that there is a strong link between the two.
Gingivitis causes your gums to be red and puffy and to bleed. This means your gums are unhealthy. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of Gingivitis. When this persists, it can damage bone and cause loss of teeth. This inflammation is your body’s defense against harmful bacteria. It works by flooding the area with white blood cells to fight and remove toxins.
However, inflammation also makes your gums bleed easily. This allows bacteria to get into your bloodstream and travel throughout your body. The presence of blood does not mean you have caused injury; You have just discovered an area where bacteria is hiding.
Gum disease and the heart
When oral bacteria reaches your heart, it can settle on valves or live in the walls of your arteries. This can trigger more inflammation and narrowing of the arteries, called atherosclerosis.
So, plaque in your mouth may literally cause plaque in your arteries. In fact, people with gum disease have two to three times the risk of heart attack than those with healthy mouths.
Gum disease and stroke
An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot or fatty plaque breaks off and becomes lodged in the narrow vessels of the brain. That area of the brain can be damaged or even die if it is oxygen-deprived for too long. Clinical studies have shown Gum disease and ischemic strokes are closely related. One study showed people with severe gum disease have over four times the risk of ischemic stroke. More evidence for the mouth-body connection.
Gum disease and Alzheimer’s
Recently a research study was done on the brains of people who died from Alzheimer’s Disease. In over 90% of the brains, they found a type of bacteria normally found in gum disease.
In fact, scientists have identified that this bacteria causes bone loss and tissue damage.
They later transplanted this bacteria to the mouth of mice. Scientists saw that these mice had an increased presence of destructive enzymes in their brains that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Gum disease and diabetes
Gum disease also increases inflammation throughout the body. For people who have diabetes, this can affect insulin sensitivity and make sugar levels more difficult to control.
It goes both ways, though. People with diabetes have trouble fighting infections like periodontal disease. And having infections like periodontal disease make the symptoms of diabetes worse.
Keeping your mouth clean and healthy is an effective way to help control issues with diabetes.
The mouth-body connection
Beyond these specific case studies, bacteria that enter your blood through your mouth can cause issues with pregnancy, cancer, and many other serious diseases. Why risk all this, when a simple 10 minutes a day could keep you healthy and hale? The MD Brush enforces good brushing habits that lead to responsible oral hygiene routines. Find out more today!